September 22, 2019  |  

Sequence motifs associated with paternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA in the horse mussel, Modiolus modiolus (Bivalvia: Mytilidae).

In the majority of metazoans paternal mitochondria represent evolutionary dead-ends. In many bivalves, however, this paradigm does not hold true; both maternal and paternal mitochondria are inherited. Herein, we characterize maternal and paternal mitochondrial control regions of the horse mussel, Modiolus modiolus (Bivalvia: Mytilidae). The maternal control region is 808bp long, while the paternal control region is longer at 2.3kb. We hypothesize that the size difference is due to a combination of repeated duplications within the control region of the paternal mtDNA genome, as well as an evolutionarily ancient recombination event between two sex-associated mtDNA genomes that led to the insertion of a second control region sequence in the genome that is now transmitted via males. In a comparison to other mytilid male control regions, we identified two evolutionarily Conserved Motifs, CMA and CMB, associated with paternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA. CMA is characterized by a conserved purine/pyrimidine pattern, while CMB exhibits a specific 13bp nucleotide string within a stem and loop structure. The identification of motifs CMA and CMB in M. modiolus extends our understanding of Sperm Transmission Elements (STEs) that have recently been identified as being associated with the paternal transmission of mitochondria in marine bivalves. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Conventional and single-molecule targeted sequencing method for specific variant detection in IKBKG while bypassing the IKBKGP1 pseudogene.

In addition to Sanger sequencing, next-generation sequencing of gene panels and exomes has emerged as a standard diagnostic tool in many laboratories. However, these captures can miss regions, have poor efficiency, or capture pseudogenes, which hamper proper diagnoses. One such example is the primary immunodeficiency-associated gene IKBKG. Its pseudogene IKBKGP1 makes traditional capture methods aspecific. We therefore developed a long-range PCR method to efficiently target IKBKG, as well as two associated genes (IRAK4 and MYD88), while bypassing the IKBKGP1 pseudogene. Sequencing accuracy was evaluated using both conventional short-read technology and a newer long-read, single-molecule sequencer. Different mapping and variant calling options were evaluated in their capability to bypass the pseudogene using both sequencing platforms. Based on these evaluations, we determined a robust diagnostic application for unambiguous sequencing and variant calling in IKBKG, IRAK4, and MYD88. This method allows rapid identification of selected primary immunodeficiency diseases in patients suffering from life-threatening invasive pyogenic bacterial infections. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

The complete mitochondrial genome of the hermaphroditic freshwater mussel Anodonta cygnea (Bivalvia: Unionidae): in silico analyses of sex-specific ORFs across order Unionoida.

Doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI) of mitochondrial DNA in bivalves is a fascinating exception to strictly maternal inheritance as practiced by all other animals. Recent work on DUI suggests that there may be unique regions of the mitochondrial genomes that play a role in sex determination and/or sexual development in freshwater mussels (order Unionoida). In this study, one complete mitochondrial genome of the hermaphroditic swan mussel, Anodonta cygnea, is sequenced and compared to the complete mitochondrial genome of the gonochoric duck mussel, Anodonta anatina. An in silico assessment of novel proteins found within freshwater bivalve species (known as F-, H-, and M-open reading frames or ORFs) is conducted, with special attention to putative transmembrane domains (TMs), signal peptides (SPs), signal cleavage sites (SCS), subcellular localization, and potential control regions. Characteristics of TMs are also examined across freshwater mussel lineages.In silico analyses suggests the presence of SPs and SCSs and provides some insight into possible function(s) of these novel ORFs. The assessed confidence in these structures and functions was highly variable, possibly due to the novelty of these proteins. The number and topology of putative TMs appear to be maintained among both F- and H-ORFs, however, this is not the case for M-ORFs. There does not appear to be a typical control region in H-type mitochondrial DNA, especially given the loss of tandem repeats in unassigned regions when compared to F-type mtDNA.In silico analyses provides a useful tool to discover patterns in DUI and to navigate further in situ analyses related to DUI in freshwater mussels. In situ analysis will be necessary to further explore the intracellular localizations and possible role of these open reading frames in the process of sex determination in freshwater mussel.


September 22, 2019  |  

Discovery of gorilla MHC-C expressing C1 ligand for KIR.

In comparison to humans and chimpanzees, gorillas show low diversity at MHC class I genes (Gogo), as reflected by an overall reduced level of allelic variation as well as the absence of a functionally important sequence motif that interacts with killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR). Here, we use recently generated large-scale genomic sequence data for a reassessment of allelic diversity at Gogo-C, the gorilla orthologue of HLA-C. Through the combination of long-range amplifications and long-read sequencing technology, we obtained, among the 35 gorillas reanalyzed, three novel full-length genomic sequences including a coding region sequence that has not been previously described. The newly identified Gogo-C*03:01 allele has a divergent recombinant structure that sets it apart from other Gogo-C alleles. Domain-by-domain phylogenetic analysis shows that Gogo-C*03:01 has segments in common with Gogo-B*07, the additional B-like gene that is present on some gorilla MHC haplotypes. Identified in ~ 50% of the gorillas analyzed, the Gogo-C*03:01 allele exclusively encodes the C1 epitope among Gogo-C allotypes, indicating its important function in controlling natural killer cell (NK cell) responses via KIR. We further explored the hypothesis whether gorillas experienced a selective sweep which may have resulted in a general reduction of the gorilla MHC class I repertoire. Our results provide little support for a selective sweep but rather suggest that the overall low Gogo class I diversity can be best explained by drastic demographic changes gorillas experienced in the ancient and recent past.


September 22, 2019  |  

Targeted genotyping of variable number tandem repeats with adVNTR.

Whole-genome sequencing is increasingly used to identify Mendelian variants in clinical pipelines. These pipelines focus on single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) and also structural variants, while ignoring more complex repeat sequence variants. Here, we consider the problem of genotyping Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTRs), composed of inexact tandem duplications of short (6-100 bp) repeating units. VNTRs span 3% of the human genome, are frequently present in coding regions, and have been implicated in multiple Mendelian disorders. Although existing tools recognize VNTR carrying sequence, genotyping VNTRs (determining repeat unit count and sequence variation) from whole-genome sequencing reads remains challenging. We describe a method, adVNTR, that uses hidden Markov models to model each VNTR, count repeat units, and detect sequence variation. adVNTR models can be developed for short-read (Illumina) and single-molecule (Pacific Biosciences [PacBio]) whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing, and show good results on multiple simulated and real data sets.© 2018 Bakhtiari et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


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